You should be more successful.
You should be wealthier.
You should be happier.
You should work harder.
You should be a better friend, son, daughter, mum or dad.
Motivational guru Tony Robbins regularly tells his clients to 'stop should-ing all over themselves'. He's right. That's what we do though. We fill our heads with lists of things we should be doing, experiences we should be having, feelings we should be feeling, and in doing so we discredit everything we have done and who we currently are.
When you 'should' you are a demanding something of your future self, you are delaying your sense of worth and happiness until that time when you are 'more' successful or wealthier. The bad news is there never comes the time when you have enough, feel enough, own enough - regardless of whether that is something material or emotional. The 'should' mentality will always ensure you continue to demand more of yourself and defer gratification for a future that will never come.
'Should' feels heavy. It feels pressured. It's a burden. It's always in the future. 'Should' is exhausting, relentless, demanding.
When we change our 'shoulds' to 'coulds' though, everything changes.
'Coulds' are open, they are curious, inquisitive, light, hopeful, free, timeless. 'Coulds' give you all of your power back.
You 'could' be wealthier. Yes indeed you 'could'. Do you want to though? The choice is yours. You 'could' look into some other financial opportunities or try something a bit different and see if that works for you - but then again maybe not. It's always up to you.
'Could' empowers you to be curious and explore different avenues without the intensity and demands of a 'should'. 'Could' is exciting and interesting. 'Could' allows you to make mistakes and learn without feeling like you have failed yourself. 'Could' opens up the world to you. Everything and everyone is there to teach you, show you, help you, guide you. The journey is the goal in many ways.
When you feel you 'should' then the world just seems to stand in your way. Everything and everybody seems to be an obstacle, a blockage, a delay.
With 'coulds' you enjoy the journey and the process. With 'shoulds' it's all about the end goal, you can never stop along the way and enjoy the ride.
Many people worry that if they downsize their ambition by re-framing words like 'should' to 'could' that they will lose their edge, their bite, their drive. I would argue, from great experience that the exact opposite is true.
Try it out for yourself. It is a simple choice. There is no five step process, no training necessary. It's a moment to moment decision to choose 'could' over 'should'. You will be very surprised as to how much more productive you will actually be, how much more energy you have for the things you want to do.
It 'could' change our life....but then that's up to you.